Assessing the impact of BIM process mapping activities in construction education

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This research focuses on assessing the impact of various process mapping activities aimed at improving students' abilities to plan for Building Information Modeling (BIM). During the various educational activities, students

This research focuses on assessing the impact of various process mapping activities aimed at improving students' abilities to plan for Building Information Modeling (BIM). During the various educational activities, students were tasked with generating process maps to illustrate plans for hypothetical construction projects. Several different educational approaches for developing process maps were used, beginning in the Fall 2015 semester. In all iterations of the learning activity, students were asked to create level 1 (project-specific) and level 2 (BIM use-specific) process maps based on a previously published BIM Project Execution Planning Guide. In Fall 2015, a peer review activity was conducted. In Spring 2016, a collaborative activity was conducted. Beginning in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters, an additional process mapping activity was conducted aimed at separating process mapping and BIM planning into separate activities. In Fall 2016, the BIM activity was conducted in groups of three whereas in Spring 2017, the students were asked to create individual process maps for the given BIM use. To understand the impact of the activity on students' perception of their own knowledge, a pre-and post-activity questionnaire was developed. It covered questions related to: (i) students' ability to create a process map, (ii) students' perception about the importance of a process map and (iii) students' perception about their own knowledge of the BIM execution process. The process maps were analyzed using a grading rubric developed by the author. The grading rubric is the major contribution of the work as there is no existing rubric to assess a BIM process map. The grading rubric divides each process map into five sections, including: core activity; activities preceding the core activity; activities following the core activity; loop/iteration; and communication across the swim lanes. The rubric consist of two parts that evaluate (i) the ability of students to demonstrate each section and (ii) the quality of demonstration of each section. The author conducted an inter-rater reliability index to validate the rubric. This inter-rater reliability index compares the scores students’ process maps were when assessed by graduate students, faculty, and industry practitioners. The reviewers graded the same set of twelve process maps. The inter-rater reliability index was found to be 0.21, which indicates a fair agreement between the graders. The non-BIM activity approach was perceived as the most impactful approach by the students. The assessment of the process maps with the rubric indicated that the non-BIM approach was the most impactful approach for enabling students to demonstrate their ability to create a process map.